U-Mary women head to NCAA Cross Country Championship

BISMARCK, N.D. - In the world of cross country, the University of Mary women’s team has been among the best in the country. On Saturday they’ll have a chance to prove they’re the best.

The Marauders, led by Alexis Zeis, won their first ever region title earlier this month. Head Coach Dennis Newell says his team is ready for the NCAA Championship Stage.

"It's just furthering the confidence this women's team has in themselves in each other, in really what they can accomplish. And going into the NCAA meet next week in Tampa, I'm very excited for this group of women to be able to showcase their talent and hard work and their passion. It's going to be fun," says Newell.

The unusually warm November in the Dakotas actually helped the Marauders prepare for Saturday's meet in Tampa.

"We are a team that has shown we can run in different conditions. From rain to hills to snow to flat. It was 68 degrees in Sioux Falls for conference and 74 degrees for the region meet, so I actually don't think the temperature itself will be that much warmer in St. Leo down in Tampa. I think the humidity could be a little different, I anticipate that but there are all kinds of variables that we're going to have to overcome and that's just one of them," says Newell.

The Marauders get started at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday.